The ESET Sprint series has reached its halfway point with the third race held at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. The remaining three race weekends will take place in August at Most and Slovakia Ring, with the finale scheduled for September in Brno. So how are the GT3 drivers faring at the halfway point of the season?
In the GT3 category, the situation is quite clear. Filip Salaquarda of the I.S.R. Racing team has turned his six starts with the Audi R8 GT3 into five wins. As only one result from the two weekend sprints is counted in the ESET Sprint standings, he has 75 points and a 24-point lead over defending champion Libor Milota with the Mercedes AMG GT3 of the GT2 Motorsport team. The difference is not significant, and Salaquarda theoretically could lose his lead to Milota if he fails to score points in the upcoming race.
However, the only direct competitor to Salaquarda is Neil Verhagen, who started with the BMW M4 GT3 of Racing Trevor at Oschersleben and Hungaroring. Verhagen is a junior factory driver for BMW and managed to beat Salaquarda in the first sprint in Oschersleben. However, the American driver did not start in Austria, so he sits in third place with 43 points in the overall standings.
The current fourth place is held by Polish driver Piotr Wira with the Mercedes AMG GT3 of the Good-Speed Racing Team. Wira has been participating in the ESET Sprint for several seasons and regularly achieves podium finishes. This season is no exception, as he secured third and second place at Hungaroring and Oschersleben, respectively.
Miro Konopka alternates between the LMP3 prototype and the Lamborghini Huracan GT3. The Slovakian participant of the 24 Hours of Le Mans drove the Lamborghini in Germany and Austria and collected a total of 27 points, just five fewer than Piotr Wira.
Petr Kačirek is still waiting for his first podium finish this season with the older generation Audi R8 GT3 and has so far collected 22 points for the Duck Racing team. The same number of points has also been collected by Gregor Zsigo with the BMW M4 GT3, which he shared with Verhagen in Germany and Hungary. Both drivers participated in one sprint each, with Zsigo finishing fourth and fifth.
Ernst Kirchmayr from Austria started with the Ferrari 488 GT3 of the Baron Motorsport team at Red Bull Ring. He finished second and third with the red Ferrari and currently holds the eighth spot in the standings with 18 points, considering only one result is counted.
Standings ESET Sprint